This Japanese cartoon feature, about ancient warring demons who employ modern-day teenagers as their surrogate combatants, combines graphic violence, supernatural monsters and teenage sex in roughly equal proportions.
Three thousand years ago, the Overfiend, or Chojin, created three parallel worlds--the human world; the world of the Makai, or demons; and that of the Jujinkai, who are half-human and half-beast. The battle between these worlds comes to a head at a middle school in modern-day Osaka, where Amano,
a 300-year-old Jujinkai, and his sister Megumi, both in the form of students, watch and wait for the rebirth of the Chojin, whose mission is to unite the three worlds and create a new era of peace and harmony.
Not for the squeamish (and definitely not for the under-18 crowd), OVERFIEND mixes extremely gruesome violence, hellish imagery and near-pornographic sex with a strangely compelling apocalyptic tale of ancient races engaged in an ongoing conflict over the fate of the human race. As is typical in
the erotic-grotesque genre of Japanese animation, sex and violence mix to a shocking degree, particularly in three sequences in which sex with demon-infected young men results in grisly deaths for the young women involved (an element of the film which leaves it open to charges of misogyny).
However, the sweetly innocent demeanor of the three protagonists provides a welcome, though incongruous, contrast to the escalating carnage, and helps willing audiences hang on through the increasingly bizarre plot.
The animation, directed by Hideki Takayama, is most spectacular in the scenes of demonic activity and mass destruction, with dazzling blasts of energy and massive swirling columns of light extending to the heavens. The nightmare world of the Makai and the dreamlike world of the Jujinkai are
creations as imaginative as any in the entire genre of sci-fi/fantasy animation. As in much Japanese product, the character animation is somewhat less fluid, but is still effective enough to engage the viewers' sympathies for the trio of heroes.
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